DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference will either change the rules regarding recruiting camps or join in the chase.
SEC athletic directors voted Wednesday to drop the league’s restriction that prohibits coaches from attending satellite camps beginning in 2016 — but only if the football powerhouse can’t get the NCAA to ban those camps altogether.
Commissioner Mike Slive announced the move at the SEC spring meetings, saying the league will “make every effort to have our rule adopted nationally.”
If not, then Slive said “our folks would be free to fan out all over the country and have at it.”
“We thought there was an interpretation the NCAA could make to take care of this matter since these camps are being used for purposes other than which they were designed,” Slive said. “So we’ll get the rule changed or our coaches will start to travel.”
That’s a possible outcome considering the SEC and the Atlantic Coast Conference are the only leagues that ban coaches from holding camps more than 50 miles from campus.
The potential change comes a year after Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff appeared at a Georgia State football camp in Atlanta. SEC coaches bristled back then because league rules prohibit them from doing the same. And those camps have become more widespread. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is going on a nine-day, nine-city tour starting June 4 in Indianapolis and ending June 12 in Detroit. The one-day camps across the country include stops in Florida, Texas, California and Alabama.
And Ohio State’s Urban Meyer will attend a camp in Boca Raton on June 17.
SEC coaches could be holding similar camps next spring.
“They talked very specifically about their intent to canvas the nation if we’re in the same circumstance next year,” said Greg Sankey, who will replace Slive as SEC commissioner this summer.
NCAA rules allow football programs to hold camps on their campus, inside their state or within a 50-mile radius of campus, but coaches can guest coach at another school’s camp — whether it’s another Football Bowl Subdivision school, a Division III school or even a high school.
The SEC and ACC have league-wide rules against guest coaching, in part because they don’t want their coaches treading on each other’s turf.
For programs such as Penn State and Michigan, satellite camps are a way to expand their reach into the fertile recruiting territory of the southeast.
The new NCAA football oversight committee will take up the issue of satellite camps when it meets in June. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will head the committee.
Bowlsby said the Big 12 seems to be leaning toward allowing them.
“Our ADs, I think for the most part, are OK with where we are right now, and that is co-sponsoring satellite camps with an in-state entity, particularly in Texas, although some of our schools do shared camps in other states,” he said.
—The SEC said presidents and chancellors will vote Friday on Georgia’s proposal to ban transfers for those dismissed at previous school for assault or domestic violence.
—Slive reiterated that the SEC is against an early signing day in December, which has been proposed by the Collegiate Commissioners Association and is expected to be voted on next month.
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)